Game of Phoenix

In the not so far of future, a new form of sport just called 'the game' is made. My name is Meril. I am a 17 year old student, but I am also the world-famous player called Phoenix. What I am best at: winning the game. Worst at: losing. (PS. Comments are appreciated 😸)

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11. Facepaw

 

~~I haven’t really planned anything for the weekend, so I decide to sleep a while longer when the alarm clock begins to ring. I don’t even know why I set it for today, nor can I remember if I did. Did I?
I hear a noise. A bumping sound from the window. I sigh, but I know it won’t help me to ignore it anyway. I get on my feet and open up the window. My eyes are still heavy, and keep  closing every other second I lose focus, so I don’t see her enter. But I suppose she does. I close the window to go back to bed, but my pillow is missing. I dunk my head directly into the edge of my bed.
“OW!” I exclaim and sit up in an instant. I look around, still with sleepy eyes. She is sitting on my table, on top of my keyboard.
“Get down from there” I yawn as I make myself comfortable again after the hit in the head I got.
“Ok-dokey”
“Don’t say that, you gnome”
“Yes, my tallest!” she smiles as she jumps down.
“Why are you here this early in the morning?”
“Its already 9 am, I wouldn’t call that early”
“But it’s weekend, that means anything before 12 IS EARLY!”
“Fine, whatever. Maybe you should consider waking up with a smile instead of that ugly frown” she makes a funny face at me. What a kid.
“Shouldn’t you get up?”
“No”
“Why not?”
“Because I want to sleep the rest of this weekend away”
“We can’t have that, not with the media in the area and all”
I immediately rise from my position.
“What did you just say?”
“The media, you know, TV, newspapers…”
“Yeah I know that! But why are they here?”
“They thought they would gather clues about the Phoenix mystery.
“What about the policy? What does the committee have to say?”
“Oh, they’re having a discussion later on in the TV. It’s on at 11 am. They said they would bring a special star”
“Then I better get going!”
“Going where?”
“Out to erase all traces I have left behind”
“How do you plan to do that? They saw you on TV yesterday you know”
She saw it too, then.
“Well, I’ll have to act as another person then”
“Or…” she smiles. I do not like when she gives me that creepy look. I swallow.
“Or what?”
She giggles. I shiver a little.
“You could go as my pet!”
A wa? Wha’? WHAT?
“You know, you could borrow one of my unused characters. I have a lot since I search for them in my freetime”
“Actually, it is not a bad idea” I say. And I mean it. No one would suspect a cat or a parrot to be the one they’re looking for.
“As long as it is a real existing animal, and not a tiger or an elephant, I think we can do it”
“YES!” she smiles. Then she turns to me with a wondering look.
“But exactly what ‘clues’ could you have left behind?”
“Erm, I’m not exactly sure about that either, but we better check before they find anything. If it’s there, that is” actually, I sorta dropped my wallet there. But I am a bit too embarrassed to tell her.
She nods in agreement to my statement.
“Well, I’ll get the character. You get dressed in the meantime, right?”
Suddenly I realize I am sitting half-naked in my bed with only my sheet to cover me.
“Shoot!” I whisper while she goes out of my window giggling wildly.

*

Soon after she returns with a satchel over her shoulder. She drops it on my bed, and begins to go through it. I am still embarrassed about before, but she seems to have forgotten already. It looks like she brought more than just one. She pulls out a dog, an ocelot, a black cat, a grand danoir and the demon I first encountered her as being. Obviously, she haven’t meant that one for me.
“You sure like animal characters” I say. She looks at me and smiles widely, so I can see all of her teeth. She actually looks cute.
“I like to experiment with them sometimes. It is funny to see how close you can get to people without them knowing”
That on the other hand, just adds to the creep-factor.
“Which one do you think will do best?” I ask.
She thinks for a moment before answering. Then she picks one.
“This one” it is the cat. I nod as she hands it to me.
“There are a lot of cats in the area, so no one will notice a new one”
“Okay”
We go out through the window. I have the phoenix under my hoodie in case of emergency, though I promise myself I won’t use it this time.
We have decided to walk a little before I change.
I look at my feet while we walk, as I usually do. I kick a rock, then another one – or was it the same? I don’t really care, but it is all I want to think about right now.
My head feels fuzzy, yet clear, like the weather after a storm. Or before.
The birds are singing in the hedges around us, flying around our heads away from danger and after each other, like if they were playing tag.
No, I think it was a new rock, the one I kicked the second time.
The pavement is crackled with grass and other weeds sticking up everywhere. It is like a painting up close, all blurry and without angle, but then when you take perspective it seems pretty. I wonder if they’ll burn them soon.
The rock was definitely the same as before.
We round a corner. The air feels hot, even though we’re in May. Everything feels like if someone had put a giant plastic bag over it.
“Hurry! Change! Someone is there!” Callia suddenly whisper-yell in my ear. She pushes me into a hedge and the birds fly away scared from their senses. The plastic bag pops.
I draw the character from my pocket. I sure as hell hope the phoenix changes along with it. In a matter of seconds, I am a small cat. It feels like the phoenix changed into me. It is a weird feeling, to know I have something that powerful stored inside of me. I stumble out of the hedge and into Callia.
“Walk on the other side of the hedge to not wake suspicion!” she whispers and gives me a little kick in the side.
“Yeah Yeah, I know!” I say to my own surprise. Callia doesn’t look the least surprised. She knew?
“Why on earth can it talk? I, I mean I talk?” I whisper angrily. Ignored. I choose to ignore her too, then. I jump into the hedge. This could be a problem. If I were to hit my head or something and yelled ‘OW’ in front of a crowd, what would they think?
And now, ladies and gentlemen, we bring you: the amazing talking cat! What is your comment on today show mr. paws?
NOPE! Not gonna happen. Rather be exposed than spent the rest of my days as a cat in a tiny cage on TV. Not like that was going to happen anyway, but as you might have guessed, I like to live after Murphy’s Law. Aaand if you don’t know what that says, here it is: if anything can go wrong, it will.
Callia starts walking. I quickly follow behind the hedge. I can walk straight through normal people’s gardens without them noticing. I feel kinda like an alien infiltrator in disguise. It is a bit thrilling, actually. And it is a nice feeling being a cat. Everything seems inferior, I can jump really high, run super fast with an impressive acceleration rate, catch birds in the air and climb trees. It may sound boring, but I really enjoy it. It is kind of the same feeling when I am panther. I feel somewhat strangely full of energy when I am a cat, though much more today than usually.
A man in a suit passes us. I can see him through the hedge. I sneak into it to get a better look. The leaves rustle a bit when I do so. He stops. Callia goes on, but I sit completely still inside the hedge. Please don’t do anything. He bows forward down towards the hedge where I am sitting.
“I thought…” he says, leaning closer. I run out to the pavement hissing at him.
“Oh ho ho, will you look at that. It’s just a kitty” he smiles and walks on. Something in his pocket beeps continuously. It takes off as he walks away.
“Phew” I say. I run after Callia who is already far ahead.
The man stops after a few seconds. Maybe his phone is ringing. I jump through the hedge again, to wander through random peoples gardens once more. Heck, that sounded like something out of a storybook, sorry. Something catches my eye. Something besides me is in this garden. I quickly turn around. It is just another cat, a black one too. As we walk, more cats join in. it is a bit weird, but I feel comfy with some company on my trip.
“Watch out for the people. They may have something to track you,” Callia whispers discretely. I am about to answer her when we reach the corner of the street. We turn only to find a huge group of people gathered down the street.
“What are they doing there? Have they found something?” she says it to herself more than to me. However, I can see what she means; the group mainly contains what looks like journalists and camera operators, but there is also some guys in lab coats and – you won’t believe it – Michael. Why do they think he is a help? All he do is stare and point to places they already have seen. I mean, they got the tape, so is he a mascot now?
Most of the people in lab coats have a little device in their hands. It looks a bit like a mobile phone, but also a game controller. It sends the same beep tone as the thing in the man’s pocket from earlier.
As we get closer, the beep thingy goes faster. Like a Geiger counter exposed to Uranium or some other very radioactive matter. It reaches its maximum when we pass it, and all the experts (I assume the lab coat fellas are the experts they talked about on the show) look puzzled by it. They look around them to see if anything is unusual. They spot Callia, and everyone storms over to her, everyone with a device pointed at her.
“No, it couldn’t be…”
“No, the signal is very strong, yes, but it is not maximum yet” one of them point at her ankle.
“No, it is not her”
I got a baaad feeling about all of this. The people with the cameras follow as the journalists come closer.
“Erm, can I get through? I actually live here you know…” Callia tries saying. She tries to get through the wall of bodies but can’t.
“Little miss, do you by chance know anything of the event that happened here at 2:12 pm yesterday?” one of the journalists asks her. He is very close to her.
“No, I don’t really know what you are talking about…” she tries to push through again, but is stopped by another journalist. A cat beside me meows. It is the black one.
“Are you sure? If you do live here as you claim, you must have at least heard about it?”
“GO AWAY!” she screams. Some of them back off a little, but soon they are over her again. I have to do something. One of the journalists are very close to her, almost stealing her air. I take a few steps back, and…
I jump out of the hedge and onto his face with a gnarling hiss. My fur is fluffy and my claws rip open the skin of my target. Suddenly, the beep thingy goes completely off. Like when you hit jackpot with the metal detector on the beach.
“IT IS THE CAT! WE FOUND TARGET!” some guy in a lab coat says. Everyone starts yelling and grab after me. Someone gets hold of my tail and yanks it hard.
“OW FOR GOD SAKE THAT HURTS!” I scream without any concern. Whoops.
Everyone looks at me.
“Oh f---“ I say. I am busted anyway. Suddenly a roar from behind the hedge rises, and over the hedge jumps a wave of cats in all colors and sizes, the black one in the lead.
A scream arises from the crowd as they get their pretty TV faces ripped to shreds. The one holding me drops me on the pavement and I see my chance to get away. I look back at the black cat as I run. Thanks, I say in my thoughts. As I turn my head to run home, something grabs me. It is another one of those stupid--- no, this time it is –MICHAEL! OH COME ON!
“I GOT HIM!” he yells. I slam a paw in my face as well as I can. This should be a new thing, facepaw. I could sure use it a lot while together with this moron.
The black cat jumps from the TV-guy over to Michael. Suddenly Callia is there.
“Let’s get out of here” she says and grabs… the other black cat. She runs off with it leaving me within the crowd, all alone.
“She took him!” Michael shouts and begins running after her. The cats hold their attack while the others flee after Michael. Well, he is good for something, I must say.
Not long after it seems all of them have left the place. I sigh of relief. How can it be all of this stuff keeps happening?
I sit down on the pavement. The other cats leap into the hedge again. Weird. The sun shines warmly on my fur. It feels nice. I close my eyes to relax a bit. Then the heat disappears, and I open my eyes. I am sitting in a shadow of what looks like…

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